The Benue State chairman of Natural Rubber Producers Processors Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (NARPPMAN), Pastor Abichi Henry, has said farmers who are interested in farming rubber can successfully grow the crop in the state.
Speaking with our correspondent after a stakeholder’s meeting, he said although rubber farming is new to Benue farmers, there are brighter prospects following increasing awareness they have created in the state.
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He listed lack of government partnership in the provision of land and inputs as well as inability of the interested farmers to access loans/grants from financial institutions as the major obstacles to rubber farming since the state was certified to be suitable for the crop.
Henry said “rubber farmers need more training workshops to keep them updated on modern methods of farming and Agribusiness in general.
The Kaduna State chairman of the association, Alhaji Yakubu Maji, has also confirmed that the soil in southern part of the state has been found good enough to grow rubber trees.
He pleaded with the state government to provide more lands for Rubber Village.
Maji said that the latex from the rubber trees in Kaduna flows faster than those in Benin where they get the nurseries from but since they do not have modern machines to process it into sheets, they sell out at give-away prices to off-takers.
Our correspondent reports that rubber is mostly grown in the southern states of Edo, Delta, Ondo, Ogun, Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Ebonyi and Bayelsa states.
Sandy loam or clayey loam soil is suitable for rubber farming.